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Dota 2 icon Choose a hero and start fighting to the death in this unique multiplayer online battle arena game

Dota 2, one of the contenders for the best MOBA that ever was, is and probably will be (5 years from now at least). It’s also one of the few games that can actually make you a millionaire by playing it. Sure, along the way you forget about a few friends, you become a bit of a racist and your tolerance for human error reaches an all time low, but it’s also a very rewarding game.

What was once a simple custom map for Warcraft III is now a game with near impeccable polishing and considerable depth

There’s no point in going back in time just to re-mention how Dota (or DotA) came to be. It’s here, it’s great and it’s free-to-play. I think it’s best to start with that because unlike with most MOBAs out there, there is nothing about Dota 2 that makes it even remotely pay-to-win.

Every single one of its unique 100+ characters are unlocked and available for you to play for as long as your computer has some life in it. Apart from your personal skill level and the cumulative one of your team, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching a professional level. Not a single cent needs to be spent in order for you to successfully obtain a 7k matchmaking rating.

You can however spend some real money on cosmetics for almost all of the characters, or on various other stuff that never influences the strength or efficiency of your character. Unless you get the latest Arcana which might be so beautiful that it totally distracts the attention of your opponents making them easy kills.

One really important thing that has to be appreciated about Dota 2 when compared to other MOBAs is the quality of everything that goes into it. From the excellent voice acting, the character lines and their interactions to the fact that you will rarely see a glitchy animation or something that looks wonky. It’s built and worked on to near perfection in terms of gameplay mechanics.

A great definition for a love-hate relationship with a game

In Dota 2 the rules are pretty simple. You have a pool of heroes grouped by their main attributes (strength, agility and intelligence), out of which you pick one and join your other four team members in the arena. Once there, your end goal is to destroy the other team’s base, more importantly their Throne.

There are three lanes to push, creeps to farm, neutrals to kill for extra gold, runes to snatch for a bit of an advantage, Rosh to kill for the Aegis and loads more to do. Passed these key elements of gameplay Dota 2 has countless more layers that give it lots of depth.

How a game unfolds depends entirely on your play style, reflexes and why not, a practiced talent. Ideally it would be for everyone to play their part/role, supports should support, carries should farm up and take advantage of every kill possibility and so on. If you get matched up with a team that’s focused on bringing their collective A game, not the individual one, you’re going to have a great experience with Dota 2.

The vast number of skill combinations, precise executions and outside the box plays makes this game incredibly captivating and if you manage to pull off a great gank or a good team fight, it’s also very rewarding. The intensity of some battles can get to you, in a good way.

If you’re just starting out with Dota 2, be prepared for a lot of raging, smack talk, intentional feeding, racist remarks and generally bad manners. The community that stands behind this game is what will make you despise the game a lot of the time because egos in Dota 2 are real. It’s not what you can call a deal breaker but it certainly will lower the enjoyment factor. However, that experience gets left behind as you get better and make less mistakes or care less about other people’s mistakes.

Play with a friend or two to get the best out of it

On a closing note, Dota 2 is utterly great if you have the mind and patience to overlook its social interaction aspect. Team cooperation and tactics are key in most cases and very few games are won thanks to just one person playing flawlessly. It’s a team game, a team sport.

So, to get the best out of Dota 2, find someone to partner up and play. Whether it’s one or two friends, having someone to coordinate skills and tactics with makes a huge difference and it opens up the game to you in a different way. Teamplay is the only way to play.

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Dota 2 was reviewed by Alexandru Chirila
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Dota 2 7.14

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